Although the NFL Combine has turned into a must-see event with enormous marketing potential for the league, at the end of the day, it’s still about the players and teams gaining all the information possible about incoming rookies, including their hand size.
As part of a broad testing and evaluation program, how does the NFL measure hand size, what is an average measurement for the QB position, and who has the record for the largest hand size measured at the NFL Combine?
How Does the NFL Measure Hand Size?
Unlike any of the running drills where lasers and slow-mo cameras capture every detail, the NFL opted to keep it simple when it comes to measuring hand size.
The hand size measurement at the NFL Combine is done by measuring from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pinky finger with the hand outstretched. The measurement obtained is the player’s hand size.
This is just one of a number of measurements taken, including height, weight, arm span, and wingspan.
Testing numbers are also conducted over the four-day event in Indianapolis, including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, three-cone, and 20-yard shuttle.
What Is the Average Hand Size for NFL QBs?
The NFL Combine is the one time of the year when it is socially okay to ask a man his hand size, and if you are on the extremes of the scale, like Kenny Pickett in 2022, it will be talked about over and over. However, those are the outliers, and more times than not, the majority of players fall into a threshold window.
For example, the average hand size for the 39 QBs taken in the first round from 2008 to 2020 is 9.7 inches, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
If you consider only the starting quarterbacks from the 2022 NFL season, the average hand size for starting QBs measured at the NFL Combine was 9.53 inches. This is roughly one inch larger than what is considered the male average of 8.5 inches across.
Who Has the Biggest Hands in the NFL?
It’s the outliers, the players that tip the charts in one direction or another, that we all enjoy talking about — never the average.
Last year it was all about Kenny Pickett, as he measured in at 8.5 inches, which was two inches shorter than the starting QB with the largest hands in 2022, Dak Prescott (10.875 inches).
However, even those pale in comparison to the all-time record holder of former San Francisco 49ers QB (1997-98) Jim Druckenmiller, whose hands measured in with a ridiculous 11.25 inches at the NFL Combine. He threw for one career touchdown in the NFL and spent time with the Memphis Maniax in the XFL.
In more recent years, Central Connecticut State University QB Jake Dolegala set the No. 2 hand size measurement of all time at 11.125 inches at the 2019 NFL Combine, 2.625 inches larger than Pickett and over two inches larger than Joe Burrow (9.0 inches).